Personal Knowledgebase Software?
September 2, 2009 9:52 AM   Subscribe

I am thinking about setting up a personal knowledge-base of items at work (Help Desk). Looking for a freeware app with a very simple notepad style interface, that will store mostly text based notes. A few preferences inside...

I am tired of trying to keep all the data for all the apps we support in my head and on various notes around my desk. My company doesn't have a real knowledge-base solution, instead preferring to keep everything in word/excel documents in a rag-tag folder structure. I would like to keep my KB articles in a stand-alone web space available. Can't store this data on an external site due to it's sensitive nature. So here's the preferences, but all recommendations are welcome :)

  • Free
  • Lightweight/stand-alone (not web-based)(Notepad style interface with a sidebar showing a list of articles is what I imagine, but can't find.)
  • Ability to insert/attach files (Word/Excel mainly)
  • Ability to export and share data with co-workers
  • Ability to search would be nice, but not required
  • I do not need wiki ability. Writing all notes in wiki mark-up would be very difficult, and my co-workers wouldn't want to learn it
I have been playing with Evernote, and it is nice..I may use it for other projects, but I don't think it will quite work for what I'm trying to do.
posted by AltReality to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Does your company use Remedy? Since you want to share with coworkers, if you use Remedy you can build a knowledgebase inside Remedy.
posted by Houstonian at 9:57 AM on September 2, 2009

Response by poster: Nope...we use older version of HEAT. Which sucks. but I don't make the decisions. :)
posted by AltReality at 10:03 AM on September 2, 2009

If you use Windows, InfoSelect might do what you want. It keeps its own database of notes, and indexes every word. You search incrementally, the number of retrieved notes narrowing as you type, until the note you're looking for is the last one standing. It's what I'd probably use in a help-desk situation due to the ease of searching. I've used it as a contact manager for this reason.
posted by TruncatedTiller at 10:37 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For you personally?


Beautiful tool, I use it at work for pretty much what you just described.

Free, Lightweight (I run mine off of a network drive for extreme portability), Export to HTML/Plain text, Search ability, no wiki ;)

It takes a little bit to learn how to use, but it's definitely worth the effort.
posted by unvivid at 2:00 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh for an edit function... The version I linked is a newer version (original author dropped the software). But you can see screenshots of the older software (pretty much the same)

posted by unvivid at 2:03 PM on September 2, 2009

Response by poster: TruncatedTiller: Thanks for the suggestion, but looks like that one isn't free. I am a lowly help desk rep..I have no money :)

unvivid, that looks like precisely what I'm looking for...Thanks for the suggestion.

More suggestions are still welcome :)
posted by AltReality at 3:32 PM on September 2, 2009

As it turns out, we also use HEAT, and I'm not sure how recent our version is either. I know I've seen bits under the menus that look like knowledge base functions...maybe poke around?
posted by Remy at 6:33 PM on September 2, 2009

Best answer: Do you have any companywide consistent email systems? For starters, you could do this in something like outlook, which would give you search, portability, attachments, forwardability, unlimited space, and for your purposes, free.

Once you get 20-25 articles written up, show your boss, make a proposal to get some money to have a real KB system. Just remember to think about who your audience is: are you writing these just for you, who are learning the system, or for a new colleague who has to learn the ropes to fill your shoes once you get promoted :)
posted by enfa at 4:34 AM on September 3, 2009

Response by poster: Remy: I have confirmed with our software folks that we do not license the knowledgebase part of HEAT. Good suggestion though. :)

enfa: That's not a bad idea at all...I may need to look deeper into that idea. I could set it up in a shared mailbox as well that way everyone could have access to it. After I get a few articles in it. Good thinking. :)
posted by AltReality at 11:57 AM on September 3, 2009

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